Nashville Cosmetic Surgery: Don Griffin, MD
4322 Harding Pike #314
Nashville, TN 37205
Phone: (615) 321-1003
Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Friday: 8 a.m.–1 p.m.

Breast Augmentation

Today’s breast augmentation procedures are vastly different and greatly improved over those of the past. Breast implants last longer and offer more choices in size and projection. There are newer techniques for implant insertion that lower the risk of complications and allow patients to heal faster without the need for narcotics. Dr. Griffin’s breast augmentation patients in Nashville, Tennessee, experience minimal discomfort after surgery and quickly return to their active lifestyles with beautiful, natural-looking results that suit them perfectly.

How Can Breast Augmentation Help?

Breast augmentation with implants is the simplest, most effective option for increasing breast volume by more than half a cup size (which is the average size increase with fat transfer). Today’s 5th-generation silicone and saline implants can last for decades, providing patients with years of self-confidence and improved appearance. Breast augmentation is ideal for correcting a variety of concerns, which include:

  • Breasts that are too small for the patient’s frame
  • Asymmetrical breasts with uneven volume
  • Variations in the shape of the chest wall that cause the breasts to look different from each other
  • Breasts that have lost volume and firmness after pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss
Dr. Griffin

Don Griffin M.D., FACS

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Don Griffin realizes that no two patients are exactly alike — and neither are his surgical plans. Learn more about his background and his unique approach.

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Don Griffin realizes that no two patients are exactly alike — and neither are his surgical plans. Learn more about his background and his unique approach.

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Dr. Griffin’s Individualized Approach to Breast Augmentation

While breast augmentation is a commonly performed procedure, beautiful results depend on optimal technique and surgical decision-making. Dr. Griffin likes to say that breast augmentation is a simple procedure for an experienced surgeon; however, if breast augmentation is done wrong, it can be a costly mistake that may never be totally correctable. Time and again, Dr. Griffin sees patients unhappy with their breast augmentation results who require revision surgery because their previous surgeon chose the wrong implant or used the wrong technique on a patient with sagging breasts.

Every woman’s body and breasts are different; these differences all effect the final breast augmentation results. Every step in the procedure has an impact on the final outcome. There actually are a myriad of variables that all have to be taken into account to achieve the optimal result for each patient. The following decisions must be made carefully:

Incision Placement

The most commonly used placement options for breast augmentation incisions are:

  • Around the lower edge of the areolas (periareolar)
  • In the armpits (transaxillary)
  • In the fold beneath the breasts (inframammary)

Dr. Griffin prefers the inframammary incision for breast augmentation for a number of reasons. It allows for the smallest incision length possible with the most precise dissection of the breast implant pocket—one of the most important factors in achieving a breast shape that looks natural and not “augmented.” Additionally, the inframammary incision has the lowest incidence of capsular contracture, less sensory loss than other approaches, and makes it easier to perform implant replacement surgery (if necessary or desired in the future).

Implant Placement

During breast augmentation surgery, Dr. Griffin creates a space, called a pocket, within the breast for the implant. Placement options for the implant include (see illustration):

  • Directly behind the breast tissue (subglandular)
  • Behind the breast tissue and the chest muscle (submuscular)
  • Partially behind the chest muscle and partially behind the breast tissue (submuscular dual plane)

implant infographic
implant infographic

For primary breast augmentation, Dr. Griffin prefers to use the submuscular dual plane approach. For revision procedures, he decides on implant placement on a number of factors; he uses all 3 approaches in different situations.

Breast Implant Size

During your consultation, Dr. Griffin spends a considerable amount of time sizing implants to ensure they are appropriate for your anatomic dimensions and to create natural-looking breasts that are the size and shape you desire. Breast implants don’t come in cup sizes; they are measured by the volume of silicone or saline they hold, as well as their diameter and projection. Key measurements that have a major impact on your results include:

  • The diameter of your natural breasts and the width of your chest wall
  • The amount of breast tissue you currently have and your desired size
  • Your overall body size and where your breast folds sit on your torso
  • How symmetric or asymmetric your natural breasts look

While the majority of implants that Dr. Griffin places range between 240 and 450 cc, there are some petite patients that need smaller implants and some fuller figured women that can accommodate larger implant sizes. In all cases, patients can be assured that Dr. Griffin will never place implants that will be out of proportion to the size of their frames. Dr. Griffin uses sterile intraoperative sizers to ensure that the implant size and profile chosen in consultation look appropriate for the patient’s desired result when placed into the breast pocket.

Saline or Silicone?

Silicone gel implants, approved for patients age 22 and older, provide the most natural look and feel. New, 5th generation, smooth, round, cohesive silicone gel implants are far superior to the silicone implants used years ago. There are now options for choosing different thicknesses of silicone gel to achieve the most natural feel while minimizing the possibility of implant wrinkling. There are even highly cohesive “gummy bear” implants for women with thin skin and minimal breast tissue.

Saline implants are filled with a sterile saltwater solution and approved for patients 18 and older. This option is less expensive than silicone and leaks are easier to detect because the implant deflates rapidly. Saline implants tend to feel stiffer than silicone and have a higher incidence of wrinkling and rippling, especially in thin women with little to no breast tissue.

Both silicone and saline implants have fairly equal safety profiles and longevity. All implants do eventually need to be replaced. Dr. Griffin typically recommends replacing implants every 15 to 20 years. He advises all patients with breast implants to have yearly follow-up exams to check their implants and breast tissue.

Profile, Shape, and Texture

While breast implant sizes are measured in volume, implants that are the same size are available in a variety of profiles. Breast implant profile, such as high or low, is a ratio of the implant’s diameter to its projection (how far it sticks out) from the chest wall. High profile implants tend to produce a breast with a fuller upper pole than possible with medium or low profile implants. Different profiles allow for an exact tailoring of the implant size to the patient’s individual frame dimensions. Dr. Griffin prefers to use smooth surfaced round implants due to their better safety record.

During your consultation, you will be allowed to handle both silicone and saline implants to help you decide which type you want. Dr. Griffin also has patients “try on” a variety of implant profiles and sizes to see what will best fit their frames and achieve your aesthetic goals.

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What to Expect

Breast augmentation is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia or deep sedation. Dr. Griffin begins by making an incision along each breast crease through which he creates a pocket for the implant. Using intraoperative sizers, he evaluates the breasts for shape, size, and symmetry, making adjustments as necessary.

Once he has achieved the desired results, he inserts the actual breast implants into each pocket. Saline implants are filled after they are placed. Silicone gel implants are inserted using a device called a Keller Funnel®. This cone-shaped sleeve, which looks much like a pastry bag, offers the following benefits:

  • Inserting implants through smaller incisions
  • Minimizing impact to the patient’s tissues
  • Decreasing surgical time
  • Reducing the risk of contamination (which reduces the risk of infection and capsular contracture)

Breast Augmentation Recovery

After a brief observation period in the surgery center, patients are free to go home in the care of a trusted adult. Dr. Griffin uses a combination of preoperative and postoperative non-narcotic medications to minimize pain and shorten recovery time. With this novel approach, most patients do not need narcotics for pain. It’s typical for Dr. Griffin’s breast augmentation patients to resume normal low impact activities and return to non-strenuous work in a matter of days. Some exercising can be resumed in 1 to 2 weeks; however, you should avoid running and other impact activities for several weeks.

Postoperative care consists of using silicone scar gel and broadband light therapy if needed to maximize wound healing and to minimize scarring.

Dr. Griffin’s precise pocket plication and use of advanced surgical techniques results in minimal swelling. The breasts tend to settle into their final position quickly, sometimes within a month or two.

"I had seen Dr. Griffin's work on several of my friends and knew he was who I wanted. He's the best...in Nashville"

NP - Nashville

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Common Questions

How do I choose the right breast implants?

With so many options for breast implants, it can be difficult to choose the perfect pair. During your consultation, Dr. Griffin walks you through your options. He takes careful measurements of your body to help him recommend implants that are just right for you. He listens carefully to your goals to help you choose a size, style, and implant type that will create the results you want.

Can breast implants lift my breasts?

On their own, implants can provide a negligible amount of lift. However, for breasts that are significantly saggy, a combined breast lift with augmentation may be a better option for improving the size, shape, and position of the breasts.

Will I be able to breastfeed after breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation should not interfere with your ability to breastfeed, and breastfeeding with implants is perfectly safe. During your consultation, share your concerns with Dr. Griffin. He can take certain steps during surgery to ensure that the glands and ducts are not affected.

Dr. Griffin and the team at Nashville Cosmetic Surgery want to help you look your best. Let’s start working together today. Request your consultation online, or call us at (615) 321-1003 to book your appointment.